Genre: General Fiction
Author: Julian Barnes
Publisher: Random House, 2011
Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program
Sexy Rating: 4
Description from amazon.com:
This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he’d left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he’d understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.
A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single sitting, with stunning psychological and emotional depth and sophistication, The Sense of an Ending is a brilliant new chapter in Julian Barnes’s oeuvre.
What if the times of your life that you remember really didn’t happen the way you remember them? What if you get to old age and the history, your history is altered by new facts? And what if those facts rock you to your core?
THE SENSE OF AN ENDING delves into these questions in a profound and moving way. Julian Barnes kept me turning pages to unravel the life of Tony Webster as Tony was trying to make sense of his life and those around him. But it is only when we have all the facts that the history reinvents itself and begs for a new look as we try to understand, as Tony tries to understand. There is new angst as we/he search our memories for errors that we may have missed.
This is a beautifully written book. It is character driven by characters that are so well drawn that we can see and feel them as we read. But we are only privy to Tony’s memories and so we can’t know everything until Tony knows. Even then we can’t know everything.
I highly recommend this novel.
(The Sense of an Ending won the prestigious Man Booker Prize of 2011)